Filed In: beauty

Skin Saviors: 4 Face Products That Keep My Skin Looking Luxurious!

Being a lifestyle and beauty blogger people constantly ask me about my facial skin care regimen, and how do I maintain my dewy glow. I always laugh and say it’s genetics, which is partially true (I mean have you seen my mom?!), but there are 4 products that I couldn’t possibly live without. So today I’ve decided to share them with you all.

#1. Lush Let The Good Times Roll Facial Cleanser, $15

I’m one of those girls that has extremely oily skin, and I’ve tried about every product to try and control the oil production on my skin. About a year ago, I discovered this facial cleanser and I’ve been in love with it ever since! The products two main ingredients are corn maize and popcorn, making it both abosorbent and exfoiliating. The cool thing about this product it contains which will also add moisture to your skin for all of those people out there that have dry/combo skin.

#2. Lush Tea Tree Toner Water, $22

Growing up my mom always taught me the importance of toning your skin. It helps lock in all those properties of your facial cleanser and tightens your pores as well. What I love most about this particular toner is it contains tea tree oil and juniper berry, which helps with balancing the amount of oil production your skin has, and helps clear up and prevent acne from appearing.

#3. Lush Cosmetic Warrior Mask, $9

I am one of those people that feels everyone should have a go-to mask, and this one is mines. I live a very hectic lifestyle which makes my skin super prone to breakouts. This mask not only helps me get rid of acne, it also prevents new ones from coming.

#4. Lush Full of Grace Serum Bar, $16

This is the newest product I’ve added to my must-have collection. From alot of trial and error, i’ve come to the conclusion lotion-based moisturizers are just too heavy for my oily skin. So a few months ago I switched to this serum bar and I’m so glad I did. It works wonders for my skin, it gives me the moisture I need but doesn’t make me too oily.

Well there you have it folks, now you all know the products I refer to as my skin’s saving grace. I use the cleanser, toner water, and serum bar twice a day (morning and night), everyday, and the mask twice per week. I guarantee you after just one use of these prods you’ll be hooked. 

If you have any questions about the products (or any products) don’t hesitate to ask me about them in the comments! 

Xo,

5 Lippies You Have To Try This Spring!

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Photo | devandthecity.polyvore.com

I simply adore the spring time! You finally get a chance to put away your bulky sweaters and boots, and bring out your more fun, whimsical clothing. Just as your clothing should transition from Winter to Spring, so should your beauty style. Now I have to admit my go-to lippie year-round is a beautiful nude by NYX Cosmetics, it’s perfect and it goes with EVERYTHING. However, I’m promising myself that this spring I’m going to shake up my beauty routine by adding a pop of color to my lips. Below I’ve listed 5 Lippies I will definitely be trying out this spring (and you should too)!

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Black Opal Fashion Fuchsia, $8
1. Deep Fuchsia

I love fuchsia anything (I mean just check out my website banner)! This luscious color compliments everyone, and screams Spring-Time!

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NYX Girl Crush, $6
2. Bubble Gum Pink

When I think of springtime, pastel colors come to mind. This lippie will definitely put you in a springtime mood.

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Revlon Siren, $8
3. Spicy Coral

Every fashionista knows that coral is one of the colors you have to add to your spring wardrobe. This spring, instead of adding coral pieces to your closet try it on your lips.

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BlackUP Bright Red, $23
4. Popsicle Red

A candy-apple red is the perfect colored lippie to give your spring beauty style a reboot.

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Mary Kay Maple, $18
5. Soft Bronze

This caramel colored lippie is a fabulous choice for fashionistas who aren’t fully committed to trying a super bright color on their lips yet. It will give you that springtime pop you want, without being overpowering.

Be sure to pair all these colorful lippies with a nude eye for a sassy look all springtime long!

What lippie are  you most excited about trying out this spring?! Tell me about in the comments!

Xo,
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5 Beauty Buys That Will Do Wonders For Your Skin!

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Photo | marykay.com

One thing I’m obsessed with is fab makeup, and as a true makeup lover I know the key to having a flawlessly “beat face,” is having clear and even-toned skin. At a very early age my mom taught me the importance of having an efficient skincare routine. I’ve been experimenting with beauty products since I was about 13 years old or so, and over the years I’ve learned two very important things about the art of caring for your skin. 1. The best way to determine what skincare products work best for you, is first knowing what type of skin you have. (Click here to read my post about determining what type of skin you have.) And 2. Don’t be afraid to try different products. I constantly switched up my skincare routine until I figured out what combination of products worked best for me. Below I’ve decided to list 5 of my fave skincare products that I couldn’t possibly live without. Enjoy! 

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1. Mary Kay Botanical Effects Mask, $14
I first tried this product when I became a Mary Kay consultant, and I instantly fell in love with it. It’s truly magical. It tones, tightens, and hydrates your skin. I use this mask about once a week, and when I don’t I can definitely see the difference in my skin.

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2. Freeman’s Charcoal and Brown Sugar Scrub, $4
I randomly bought this product one day while I was browsing the beauty section at Wal-Mart, and I must admit I’m so glad I did! This scrub is an amazing exfoliant. It gently removes dead skin cells, softens rough areas, and instantly lightens up dark spots. I use this scrub about 2-3 times a week.

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3. Karuna Clarifying Face Sheets, $28 4-pk or $8 1-pk
I discovered these facial sheet masks one day browsing around an Ulta Beauty Store. After doing some quick online research, I decided to buy one. These sheet masks are incredibly beneficial for makeup junkies like myself. Each sheet comes in an individually wrapped packet containing several types of hydrating and purifying ingredients. I use these about twice a month to restore all of the nutrients and natural oils that have been removed from daily makeup wear.

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4. Mary Kay TimeWise Night Solution, $32
Once again, this was one of the products I discovered when I first became a Mary Kay consultant. After using this product for about 3 nights I began to truly see a difference in not just the appearance of my skin, but also the feel as well. It is extremely hydrating, and you wake up the next morning with luxurious “just left the spa” skin. I use this product nightly.

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5. Neutrogena On-Spot Acne Treatment, $7
I’ve been using Neutrogena products since I’ve been 13 years old, and one thing I will always be certain of is if it has a Neutrogena seal then is probably an awesome product. This acne cream works better than any other one I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried SEVERAL). It dries out/clears up acne extremely fast, and it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry or flaky.

What are your fave skincare go-tos?! I would love to hear about them in the comments! 

Xo,

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5 Autumn Inspired Lippies You Need To Be Rocking This Fall! 

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Photo | devandthecity.polyvore.com

One of the best things about the Autumn season besides all of the fabulous shift in clothing, are all the sexy beauty looks you can rock. Yes, you can still be sexy during the other months, but there is something about Fall that makes you want to amp up your vavavommm factor! Because the fashion world has dubbed the 90s for this Fall’s Beauty Inspiration, I’ve chosen 5 lippies that are very reminiscent of that effortlessly cool time period. Make sure to try the “5 Autumn Inspired Lip Colors” below!


Revlon Black Cherry, $6
1. Wine Fine

This beautiful wine like hue will compliment a wide range of skin-tones, and screams Autumn is here.

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BlackUp Satin Black, $23
2. Smoke

I love a dark grey/black lipstick, it’s bold, sexy, and very unexpected.


Mac Antique Velvet, $17
3. Sexy Cognac

If you think back to all of the 90s Style Icons they all wore a beautiful brown hue on the red carpet. A cognac colored lippie is sultry but can still take you from 9-5…and beyond.

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NYX Aria, $6
4.Purple Persauation

I LIVE for a good purple lippie. It’s perfect for a Girl’s Night Out, and gives your normal GNO go-to lippie a much deserved break.

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Mary Kay True Dimensions First Blush, $18
5. Cool Nude

You can never go wrong with a warming blush-toned lippie. It’s suitable for everyday wear, but screams seduction.

Pair all of these fab lippies with a wing-tipped cat eye or light smoky eye for a chic look all Autumn long!

What lippies are a must-have for your Autumn “look” ?! Tell me about them in the comments!

Xo,
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The Time I…Dyed My Hair Purple! 

  
On last Friday I entered a new chapter in my life, and hit a new milestone. Pondering on what I’m talking about?? Well I turned 25 last week folks! To say I was uber excited about my big day was an understatement. I think it was because it was the first time I celebrated an adult birthday in another city (I went to Vegas, post coming soon).

Anywho, I knew year 25 would bring a beautiful change, so I decided it would also be good time to switch up my hair color. So I ditched my brown curls and swapped them out for purple ones instead. I’ve been wanting to dye my hair a fun color since I was about 17 or so, but honestly I’ve always been quite scared of how I would be perceived. Since I’m now in this new phase of my life where I’m just so over caring about others opinions, I knew it was the perfect time to do it.

The process for finding a great stylist to do my hair transformation was super easy. There is only one hair stylist I trust, and that’s Liz Barnes. I knew she would see my vision, and help me execute it perfectly. I’ve been a client of hers for a few years now, and she was the first stylist to ever dye my hair (I was honey blonde, a few years ago.) It took about 3 hours total to dye my hair, but it was truly worth it. My hair is still soft, and my curl pattern is the exact same, and as of right now I haven’t had to change my go-to natural hair care products.

I must say I truly love my hair! It’s everything I envisioned and more. I feel even more empowered as a woman with my purple hair. If you’ve been contemplating switching up your hair style or color, I say go for it! Life is too short not to look the way you want to.

Make sure to view the pictures below discussing my hair transformation below.

  
First, Liz lightened my dark brown strands.

    

After my hair was lightened, my hair was deep-conditioned, and I was placed under a dryer.

  
Lastly, the new color was applied, my hair was washed/conditioned/dried, and then flat ironed.

I simply adore my new hair! It’s everything I wanted plus more.

Be sure to visit Liz Barnes’s “All About U Hair Salon!”

Xo,
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The Time I…Tea-Toxed!

  *Me at on a roof-top party in Vegas, showing off my new more toned body.

I discovered tea-toxing a few years ago thanks to one of my favorite bloggers Morgan Stewart (like me she often discusses her fitness journey). She featured Flat Tummy Tea on her site, and I immediately ordered some. The cleanse was two weeks and so effective. It was probably one of the most beneficial cleanses I’ve ever done.

Since I knew I wanted to look fabulous for my Vegas bday vacay (and would be attending a few roof-top pool parties),  I knew it would be the perfect time to try tea-toxing again. 

For 31 days (the entire month of August) I drinked tea 4-5 times a day, and cut soft drinks completely out of my diet. At first it was super easy (I’m a natural tea drinker), but at about day 15 or so I began to crave a iced-cold Sprite, however I promised myself I wouldn’t cave and surprisingly I didn’t. When I first started the cleanse I strictly drank herbal green tea, but like with anything else, I grew tired of it (around day 17 or so). So I researched other fat-burning teas, and black tea popped up. I decided to try it, and I must say the change in taste was much needed. For the remainder of my cleanse I interchanged the two. Drinking green tea in the morning and throughout the day, and then black tea before bed. 

Along with tea-toxing, I did core exercises (twist crunches, lift weights, etc.) before bed every night. I knew the core exercises would tighten up the areas where the tea was burning the most fat. I also continued my normal exercise routine of walking. 

Overall the results of tea-toxing for 31 days was amazing. Not to be conceited or anything, but I looked darned good in Vegas. My body was pure awesomeness, and I was able to rock all of the cute swim-suits and sexy club dresses I wanted. Tea-toxing also helped clear my skin tremendously. Tea-toxing will most definitely be my go-to cleanse.

Want to try tea-toxing? Tea-toxed before? I would love to hear about it in the comments! 

The Time I…Tried Twist-Outs!

  
*August 9, 2015, the day I discovered the awesomeness of twist-outs.

For those of you who may not know, I consider myself to be a bonafide naturalista! Meaning, I am very pro ladies wearing their natural hair texture, and not chemically altering it. My natural hair journey began the day I was born. No seriously! Growing up my mom was very anti-relaxer, and she never allowed me to relax my hair. If I wanted straight hair, I could only get it pressed or flat-ironed. A few years ago I began wearing my natural kinky curls more often than I wore my hair straightened. I just grew so tired of the process of having my hair straightened every two weeks.

I’m always on the hunt for discovering new natural hair techniques. Recently, when my family and I were on vacay, my cousin asked me if I had ever tried a twist out. To her surprise I had not. My curly hair routine has always been pretty simple. I would just wet my hair, condition it, and then be done. After showing me a few naturalistas twist-out results, my cousin Arie FINALLY convinced to try it. The process was super easy, after wetting and conditioning my hair, Ariel sectioned my hair off into about 8 or so parts (may vary depending on the thickness and length of your hair), and then individually twisted the parts into giant twist. And just like that it was done. I was a tad anxious to see how my hair turned out. The next day I was pleasantly surprised! My hair was gorge, soft, and full! I couldn’t believe my curls could be just as nice without me having to wet my hair everyday.

Since then, I’ve been doing twist-outs almost every night before bed, and I must say the results are just getting better with time. I’m so glad my cousin introduced me to this style.

5 Steps for Achieving a Perfect Twist-Out!
1.Prep! Make sure your hair is clean and well conditioned before beginning the process.
2. Twist! Section you hair off into different parts, and then individually twist each area.
3. Wait! Allow your hair to fully dry (or mostly dry like I do).
4. Fluff! Once your hair is dry, take the twist a loose and then fluff your hair to create desired volume.
5. Enjoy! And just like that enjoy your beautiful hair, add oil for extra moisture if needed.

Your twist should look like this (or similar to) when twist-outs are completed.  

Are you a naturalista like me?! What’s your go-to style to help maintain your curls?! Tell me all about it in the comments!

Until Next Time,
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The Time I… Tried Fauxlocs! 

  

I’ve never been one to get a “summer hairstyle,” I mostly wear my kinky curls year round. Usually when I feel like switching my hairstyle up I’ll just add some highlights and get it blown out, but this year I decided I wanted to do something a little different.

Around March, I made the decision to try fauxlocs. They’re a good protective style and it would give me a break from my natural hair. I began researching how-to videos on YouTube. After watching about 10+ videos or so I finally felt confident enough to install my own fauxlocs.

From the how-to videos, I knew there were two types of hair commonly used for fauxlocs: kanekalon hair and marley hair. I chose to use kanekalon hair instead of marley hair, honestly, because I was intimidated by the marley hair. Marley hair is very bulky, whereas kanekalon hair is a little more manageable. I bought 5 packs of premium kanekalon hair, to wrap the braids creating the effect of a dreadlock, and 5 packs of regular kanekalon hair for the single braids.

Before installing the fauxlocs, I washed my hair and deep-conditioned it. It is very important to deep-condition your hair before installing any type of protective hairstyle. After washing and conditioning my hair, I sectioned it into four parts, and within those sections I began to braid my hair into single braids. Next, I braided the regular kanekalon hair into my hair, using my hair as the third leg of the braid. Once I was done with the single braids, I then began wrapping the braids with the premium kanekalon hair to create the effect of dreadlocks. Lastly, I burned the bottom of the fauxloc to seal the ends. And just like that I was a dread-head! *flips hair emoji”

Pros:

The process of installing fauxlocs was very easy. If you know how to do single braids, and wrap hair around your finger then you can do fauxlocs. Seriously! It’s that’s simple. Fauxlocs are also extremely cost effective. The total cost for the hair was only $40, and because I did them myself I didn’t have to pay someone to install them for me.

Cons:

The worst part about having fauxlocs was the unraveling. After about two-weeks of having them, a few of my dreads began to slightly unravel. Especially after wearing them in a up-do hairstyle. So I had to do minor touch-ups here and there, which was annoying. Also it took about 8 hours to install the hairstyle.

Overall, I LOVED having fauxlocs! It was such a fun hairstyle, and it provided some much needed versatility. I received so many compliments. I would definitely do fauxlocs again. I recommend fauxlocs to anyone contemplating the idea of permanently growing dreadlocks or to anyone looking for a cool, Afro-centric hairstyle.

Thinking about trying fauxlocs? Have any fauxlocs tips?! I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Here are some of my fave how-to videos on installing fauxlocs!

Xo,
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Tea-Toxing!


Photo | simplyliving.com

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never really been a person that cared about exercise or being healthy. I wish I could blame that on my upbringing, but my immediate family has always eaten very clean and exercised as often as possible. However, within the last couple of years, something in me changed. I decided I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, so I made a promise to myself from that day forward I would make better food selections and exercise more. I thought the process would be extremely hard, but surprisingly it wasn’t. I think what helped is I didn’t make drastic changes all at once, every thing was very subtle. I began with my diet. I switched out sprite for iced green tea, made better choices when grocery shopping, and even started ordering low-cal dishes while eating out at restaurants. Next, I amped up my exercise routine. I started taking Zumba classes, which I instantly fell in love with, they were so much fun and it didn’t take long until I saw results. Now, I exercise about 3-4 times a week, I mostly walk park trails and do core strength training. I’m also OBSESSED with yoga! I guess you can say I’ve become a semi-health guru(LOL)!

The best part about this journey has been learning about all the healthy ways you can boost your weight loss, besides just eating healthier and exercising regularly. I’ve become a huge fan of juicing and doing cleanses/detoxes. Whenever I have something going on that I want to look extra fabulous for, I start some type of cleanse, and I find them to be very effective. Since I’ll be going on a weekend vacay for my birthday next month, (and will be wearing minimal clothing lol), I decided it would be the perfect time to start a new cleanse. So on August 1st I began tea-toxing. 

Tea-toxing is a process where you detox your system by drinking herbal tea at least twice a day (once in the morning and once before bed) to rid your body of toxins, chemicals that cause bloating, and increase your metabolism. I’m a natural tea drinker, so thus far this process has been super easy, and even after just 3 days I can see results. Along with water, I drink tea (cold and hot) about 5 times a day. I also will be doing core exercises daily, to get the most out of this program. 

It’s crazy to think that a few years ago if someone would have told me I woud be such a fan of cleanses and certain exercise methods, I would have probably laughed in their face. I feel I’m living proof that living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard. Do I still indulge? Of course! I am for NOLA remember! However, I have just learned to do it in moderation. I’m looking forward to what 31 days of tea-toxing/exercising will bring, and I can not wait to share the end results with you all!

Xo,
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Anyone else tea-toxing with me or have you tea-toxed before? How did it work for you?! I would love to hear about it in the comments!

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Style Day!

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On last Sunday I hosted my very first “Style Day” event at Langford Market Boutique, which included a few of my favorite things: shopping, champagne, and make-up! I had such a fun time giving ladies mini makeovers and style tips.

Check out a few pictures from the event below!

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*All Mary Kay products were used for the makeovers.

If you would like to place a Mary Kay order, click here!


Right now all first time customers will receive 10% off! Browse the Mary Kay e-Catalog here.

Special Thanks to Langford Market for allowing me to host the “Style Day” event at their boutique, and to everyone that came out! I can not wait for the next one!

Xo,
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